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#ThrowbackThursday — A look back at parks, recreation leaders

By Lewis Bramlett, for the SNAP

In honor of July being National Park and Recreation Month, I wanted to share a brief history of the directors of the Albemarle Parks and Recreation Department.

The Albemarle Parks and Recreation Department was established in March 1963 and was seen as a way for the city to provide programs year-round for teens.

The first director was Robert D. Amos, who served in that role until 1967 when he left to take a similar role in High Point.

The next director was Charles Y. “Chuck” Morehead, who served from 1967 until his retirement in 1985.

Morehead oversaw the development of several new parks and created one of North Carolina’s first “rails to trails” projects with the development of the walking trail at Rock Creek Park along the old Yadkin Railroad line. He began the Challenge program that was one of the first outdoor adventure programs offered by a Parks and Recreation department.

Northwoods Park was renamed Chuck Morehead Memorial Park in his memory in 1989.

Lindsey Dunevant was promoted from assistant director to the director’s position in 1985. He helped to obtain grants to benefit the parks department and helped to add a number of new facilities, including the E.E. Waddell Community Center, the Albemarle Soccer Complex and City Lake Park.

He also helped with some of the early plans for the Roger F. Snyder Greenway.
Dunevant also helped expand the programs offered by the department to include more age groups. He retired in 2006.

After Dunevant retired, Toby Thorpe was promoted to the director’s role. He continued many of the programs of his predecessors and led the department until 2016. Lisa Kiser is the current director and has served in that role since 2017.

Lewis Bramlett is a member of the Stanly County Historical Society.